How Remarketing Benefits Law Firms

You might have heard the term “remarketing” before, it’s pretty common in the digital marketing world. Just in case you weren’t fully sure what it entails, here’s a quick backgrounder on the basics of remarketing.

 

What Even is Remarketing?

Well, it’s marketing, again. You market to audiences that have already interacted with your ads. Since consumers often take multiple visits to a website before converting, it makes sense that they probably didn’t become a client the first time they clicked on your ad. Does this mean you paid for a click that didn’t end up having a conversion? Yes. Does that mean it was a wasted click? No.

 

The good thing about interactions, even if they don’t result in conversions, is that they show you who is interested in your firm. By targeting people who interacted with your ad, you are cutting out a large portion of the uninterested population, and saving money in the process. Remarketing campaigns often have higher return on ad spend (ROAS) and lower cost per click (CPC). 

 

So, in summary, remarketing is marketing to people who you know are interested but might need a reminder in order to become a client.

 

Where Does Remarketing Work Best for Lawyers?

Remarketing is an option on most ad platforms, from Google to Facebook to Microsoft. Each platform has its own unique abilities and allowances regarding how many times you can show an ad to one person in a day. Facebook is at the higher end of that spectrum, Google is on the lower end. 

 

As far as law firms go, the platform does matter. The impact of a Facebook ad and Google or Bing Search ad are very different and serve different purposes. Where Facebook may be able to relentlessly promote your brand through rigorous remarketing, Search will catch people when they are actively looking for a lawyer.  It’s all a balancing game. Luckily, we’re really good at balancing.

 

How to Take Advantage of Remarketing

Your law firm can start remarketing as soon as you have data from marketing. You will have to figure out which of your audiences are best to target, and then narrow it down from there. 

If you feel like your law firm could benefit from remarketing, and think that you might need some help in running your ad campaigns, contact Mockingbird.

Google Ads Conversion Rate Benchmarking

Mockingbird manages millions of dollars in lawyer advertising across hundreds of law firms and while overall performance varies, firm to firm, I thought it might be useful to share our conversion rate data so my readers could benchmark their own performance. First – understand that conversion rate here does NOT mean converting into clients, but instead the percentage of people who contact the firm by phone, form fill, chat or even text message after clicking on the advertisement. One of the patterns we are aware of is that conversion rates vary greatly by Practice Area, so I’ve broken different practice areas out below. I’m hoping the numbers below are helpful in evaluating the performance of your own advertising…and if you agency obfuscates or doesn’t report on these numbers, I’d ask myself what they are hiding (read below the bullets for more…)

Also note that our campaigns’ strategy and tactics are driven primarily by business metrics instead of traditional PPC marketing metrics (such as impressions or click through rates), these benchmark numbers are likely to be very different from PPC campaigns that focus on optimizing more typical metrics like impressions, CTR, or position.

    • Personal Injury:  10.2%
    • Criminal Defense:  10.8%
    • Social Security Disability:  18.9%
    • Bankruptcy:  8.8%
    • Family:  20.2%
    • Immigration:  32.3%
    • Business:  1.6%
    • Estate Planning:  12.4%
    • Tax:  4.2%
    • Employment:  17.1%
    • Medical Malpractice:  31.0%

Tricks Agencies Use to Lie About Conversion Performance

Trick 1: Conflating Branded Results

Note that in our analysis above, we only did the analysis on non-branded search queries – i.e. “car accident lawyer” and not branded queries – i.e. “Smith and Jones Law Firm.” The reason for this is simple, branded queries already have high intent, and the marketing cost of those queries clearly doesn’t rest with the AdWords spend, but instead, TV, radio, billboards, and overall great customer service which drives referrals. In addition, clicks for branded queries are extremely uncompetitive relative to non branded queries and therefore cheaper, typically costing between 1% and 4% of typical PPC bids. One way online marketing agencies fool their clients is by including conversions from branded queries in their reporting – and taking credit for these very low costs clicks that drive business from marketing dollars spent on other marketing channels.

Trick 2: Hiding YOUR Data.

Agencies often literally hide conversion data from their clients by refusing access to either Google Ads or Google Analytics. If you can’t find your conversion data, perhaps it’s time to find a new agency that understands that it’s your data, not theirs.

Trick 3: Over-Counting Phone Calls

There are only 4 real “conversions” for legal marketing: phone calls, form fills, chat and text. One way agencies artificially inflate their “conversion” data is by counting every phone call (instead of first time callers only) to obfuscate the data behind poorly performing campaigns. Ensure your conversion reporting is set to only count first time callers, any moderately sophisticated dynamic call tracking service (like CallRail) has a simple setting to adjust for this.

It’s important to not only monitor the rate at which your advertising is converting into inquiries from potential clients, but also understand how this relates to industry standards. Benchmarking your conversion rate against competitors within your practice areas should allow you to identify strengths and weaknesses as well as shore up any deficiencies in bidding strategy, ad copy or landing pages that might be preventing you from maximizing your overall conversions.

Why We Track the Customer Journey: 3 Good Reasons

Quick question: should you invest more into the consumer who has searched for local auto-body shops, how to make an insurance claim, and then “car accident lawyer,” or the consumer who has just searched “car accident lawyer?” The answer is, of course, the former. We know that they have been in an accident, we know that they are making an insurance claim, and we know that they need a lawyer. What do we know about the second consumer, other than they want to know about car accident lawyers? 

 

1. Invest Where it Matters

Advertising is a game of wise investing and strategic placement. “Car accident lawyer” won’t be a cheap search term, no matter where you are. It’s important not to spend exorbitant amounts for each click by someone who isn’t even in the market for a lawyer.  By narrowing your audience down through search histories, you are saving money on PPC.

 

2. Reliable Customers

Visibility is vital for brand awareness and future conversions, but shouldn’t be the focus of targeted search campaigns. The customer journey is not vital for visibility campaigns, which largely appear on Youtube and Display ads. Search ads can be highly targeted and are a high-investment-high-return type of advertising. You can, and should, target consumers who you know are on the path to hiring a lawyer. Don’t use search ads to try and convert people who aren’t interested.

 

3. Actionable Metrics

Through Google Analytics and/or Google Search Console you can see where your clients are coming from. You can see their customer journey, how they found their way to your website, and at what step in their search they chose to convert. These metrics will show you where to invest in advertising and where to focus on link-building. Knowing how to connect with your clients before they even know they are going to convert is the goal of any good advertising campaign.

Deciding when to intercept a customer is a skill, and one that we excel at. We take pride in our experience running successful search campaigns. If you would like to discuss opportunities for your firm, contact Mockingbird today.

The Future of Search Ads

A recent report from eMarketer about the future of search ads has provided some interesting predictions. The report looks into the coming ad revenues by company in the US market as well as total upcoming ad spend compared to percentage digital ad spend. 

 

Companies with the Highest Shares of Search Ads

Unsurprisingly, Google tops this list. In 2018, it held 73.4 percent of the Search Ad market, a number which eMarketer expects to drop to 70.5 percent by 2021. Other companies that appear on the list include Amazon, Microsoft, and Verizon Media Group. Amazon is the only company on the chart Marketer expects to grow over the coming years.

Chart showing ad revenue predictions for various advertising companies

 

Increase in Ad Spending

The report predicts that the US will spend more and more money on search ads in the next few years. Spending will jump from $55.17 billion in 2019 to a staggering $86.08 billion in 2023. Meanwhile, eMarketer expects the percentage of total digital ad spending devoted to search ads to remain at around 43 percent. The rate of growth is expected to slow over the years, and search ads are expected to grow at the same rate.

Chart showing expected total ad spend in the coming years

What Does This Mean?

This report means that the search ad market is going to get bigger, as is the digital advertising world as a whole. It also means that the ad world is getting more varied, even if by a small margin. With Google holding slightly less of the search ad market share, there might be room for competitors to rise up. This is why diversifying your advertising investments is always a good idea.

Why Microsoft/Bing Advertising is Worth It

Microsoft Advertising, which is largely Bing Search Ads, is an opportunity that law firms shouldn’t sleep on. Keywords for lawyers are some of the most competitive on Google, where the user bases of both consumers and advertisers are vast and saturated. Bing doesn’t have that same market, which means less competition and a better cost per acquisition (CPA) in many campaigns.

 

Demographics

By demographics I’m not referring to audience factors when designing an ad campaign, I’m talking about the general demographics of the users of the platform. Bing tends to be more popular among less tech-savvy individuals, as those who use it tend not to care too much about their search engine. Its users tend to be a bit more blue-collar and older than the average Google user, which can be used to your advantage.

Bing is the default search engine on a wide array of devices on the market, and anyone who isn’t a die-hard Google loyalist won’t care if the internet on their computer leads them straight to Bing; as long as it gives them an answer to their search query they’ll be happy. 

 

Utilizing Bing

The benefit of Bing is that its audience isn’t very tech-savvy. Where Google users might be aware and wary of search ads, Bing users might not even notice that they’re ads in the first place. They’re just looking for an answer to their search, and if your ad looks like it’ll provide that, they’ll click on it. 

By only using Google Ads, you are excluding a significant share of your target market. The share you are excluding could even be more representative of your target audience than who is currently seeing your ads. 

The other benefit of Bing is that it’s ad costs tend to be cheaper than Google’s, meaning you can use more targeted keywords without paying Google prices.

We encourage our clients to think of Microsoft/Bing advertising as something to invest in alongside Google, especially for firms with lower budgets. The two platforms are not mutually exclusive, and neglecting one in favor of the other is simply bad business.

If you need help setting up your Microsoft Ads account, contact Mockingbird. We’ll help you get your business off the ground.

Yes, You Need Call Tracking

So your ad campaign has been working and you’re getting almost more calls than you can handle. How do you handle it? Do you write down names and numbers on a notepad next to your phone?

 

If you are still using the pen and paper method for tracking essential information you can give it up. It’s simply not scalable. This is why Mockingbird encourages all of our clients to get call tracking software.

 

Why Should I Invest? My Method Works

Your method works…for now. Maybe it isn’t even working that well now. How many potential clients have been lost because of a misplaced note or messy handwriting? How many calls have you missed and never thought about again? This is why you need call tracking.

 

Our Method Works Better

Call tracking will give you a database of everyone who calls you, their phone numbers, and how many times they have called your firm. This can give you solid information about business growth, inquiry trends, and the type of clients you are attracting. It will also give you solid trends regarding the times of day with the most calls, helping you prepared for high volumes instead of always being overwhelmed and surprised. 

 

Our Selfish Reasons

We’d be lying if we didn’t say that we prefer call tracking because it makes our job easier because it does. It helps us know which of our ad campaigns are working, where to target call-only ads, and which clients are more receptive to your ads. This helps us be better marketers, thereby improving business for you. Our selfish reasons always benefit you, which is part of our business model. We don’t ever encourage our clients to invest in things that don’t actively improve their business, but sometimes we get to benefit too.

 

 

There are multiple forms of call tracking software that can help your business, and we can help you choose the right one for your firm. Call Mockingbird today to learn how to handle your phone!

FACEBOOK’s New Safety Guidelines

Facebook Ads, run by FACEBOOK for Business and appearing on Facebook and Instagram, recently announced new safety controls for their advertisers, meant to “maintain a high-quality ecosystem of content, publishers, and ads.” These new features largely build on existing features but focus more on efficiency and advertiser security.

 

Ad Manager

Facebook ads used to have layers you had to get through to edit each individual campaign. They have now set up a new “one-stop place.” This will allow advertisers to set account-wide filters.

 

The platform is also improving its advertiser-creator relationships with more comprehensive publisher white lists and block lists so that advertisers always know where their ads are being shown.

 

Advertiser Safety Partners

Facebook is also introducing a partnership with Zefr, a targeted advertising company. Zefr will be working alongside DoubleVerify, Integral Ad Science, and OpenSlate to maintain protections for advertisers.

 

Community Standards

Facebook has updated its community guidelines! But not very much. It is unlikely to affect legal marketing.

 

If You Need Legal Marketing Help

If you have found yourself in a situation where you want Facebook and Instagram ads for your law firm but are unsure how to set them up, give Mockingbird a call. We make it our specialty to run marketing campaigns on multiple platforms, including FACEBOOK.

Your Clients are Your Best Advertisers

For both local and multi-office firms, client reviews are some of the most important aspects of a revenue-generating online presence. Surveys show that most consumers read reviews prior to committing to a purchase and that most online businesses now have at least one online review. This trend isn’t new, and it isn’t going anywhere, so hop on this bandwagon and let’s go on a ride.

 

Utilizing Client Feedback

Getting feedback from your clients is always important; how else are you going to know how to improve? 

Beyond constructive advice, client feedback is often good (or at least it should be). When you get good feedback you need to know how to get your clients to post it online in their spare time. If you don’t think they will, you can ask if you can keep their comments on file and post them to your website under testimonials.

 

Testimonials vs Reviews

If you’re wondering what the difference is between testimonials and reviews, you’re probably not alone. Think of a testimonial as to the type of thing you would ask someone to say about you in a reference letter. A review is what someone would say about you before you arrive at a party. In an ideal world, the two won’t be too different. 

Your testimonials should go on your website. They are cultivated pieces of client feedback that make you sound great. The problem with only relying on the testimonials you choose as the client feedback potential clients might see is that they might not feel as real. Of course, you’re going to cherry-pick the best ones and not post the bad reviews.

Your reviews should come straight from your clients and should be posted from their personal computer (Google tends to flag reviews posted directly from the business being reviewed). They go on Google My Business, Yelp, and anywhere else people are able to leave reviews. Consumers tend to trust them more, as they come directly from the clients. 

 

When a Review Goes Bad

The risk you take with relying on the reviews is that some are going to be bad. Not everyone is going to be happy, and that’s ok. You just need to know how to handle a negative review. 

Chances are, you will know the situation the reviewer is having a grievance with. If you don’t, find out. As the business owner, you are responsible for responding to the reviews, which you can do either publicly or privately, depending on the situation. In some cases, you’ll want to privately message the client to clear up the situation. In other cases, your best course of action will be to publicly respond. Knowing which situation calls for what is a matter of personal preference and over time you will learn what is best for you and your business.

If you would like to learn more about how to handle reviews or increase client feedback, contact Mockingbird.

Is Your Law Firm’s Site Affecting Your Ad Conversion Rate on Mobile?

As we’ve mentioned in the past, the world is seeing a shift toward more mobile usage. This holds for Google Ads as well. In 2019, The average clickthrough rate for a search ad on mobile is almost a full percentage point higher than the average rate for desktop ads. With this shift in behavior, it is important to make sure the landing pages your ads lead to are as up-to-par on mobile as they are on desktop.

The performance of your ads comes down to 3 factors:

  1. How much you’re bidding on your keywords
  2. How relevant your ads are to the search query
  3. The ad’s landing page experience

While the first two factors will help drive traffic and build awareness to your site, it’s the landing page experience that drives the likelihood that a potential client contacts you.

What is Landing Page Experience?

Landing page experience is a measure of your page’s relevance to what the searcher was looking for when they clicked on your ad. In the context of legal marketing, this means that your content must be informative enough to show the user that you can help them with what they are looking for. The better your landing page experience is, the more likely a user is to convert. To determine landing page performance, Google takes the following into account:

  • Site speed – how long does it take for the page to load?
  • Content relevance – is this what the searcher was looking for?
  • Prominent calls-to-action – how easy is it for someone to contact you?
  • User experience – how easy is it to find information on your site?

Take a second to put yourself in a potential client’s shoes and ask yourself these questions while looking at a practice area page on your firm’s site on your phone:

  • Did I just get annoyed with how long it took for my site to load?
  • Did I have to scroll far or zoom in to see my content?
  • Does my content tell me very little about how I can help?
  • Does it take me a long time to fill in my information on my forms?
  • Is it hard to find a number to call my firm?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you need to fix your landing pages. These are very real issues people can have with websites that can determine whether someone will contact you.

I Answered Yes to Some of These Questions. What Now?

If your landing pages are in need of work, there are a few things you can do to improve their efficacy. Besides improving the speed of your site, you can focus on making sure your content is relevant and informative while conveying how you can help a potential client, as highlighted in this outline.

If content and page layout adjustments are not an option, this does not mean you cannot advertise altogether. A great alternative to consider is to run call-only ads in place of text ads. These ads only appear on mobile devices and allow users to call your firm by clicking on your ad instead of being sent to a landing page.

Being the top bidder is an important factor in your ad performance. However, Google ultimately wants to provide users with the best possible search experience. If you want to be successful with advertising, it is crucial to consider the experience of your users in an increasingly mobile world. That means, creating a fast, user-friendly mobile experience.